Archive | 8:12 pm

The History of the Word.

29 Dec

"I talk funny? YOU talk funny."

When I was little (and I mean really, REALLY little), I struggled to pronounce my S’s. The less sensitive readers among you might even call that struggle a Lisp. Oh, I never had to attend speech therapy, and no one ever nicknamed me Thindy Brady, so it all turned out fine. Actually, you wouldn’t even know it had happened, were it not for my nickname: Wis.

Or potentially the fact that my blog is named PithyPants. When in fact, my pants are more often dotted with… nevermind.

That’s right. I couldn’t say my own damn name right. Instead of Alison, I was Awison. Which, cutely, got shortened to Wis (which – coincidentally? – rhymes with piss). And my sister? Alicia? Became Aweeta. And thus her nickname – Weet – was born.

To this day, we’re known to our immediate family as Weet and Wis. It’s a comfortable name and not anything I think about, until I refer to myself in a story as “Aunt Wis,” (which is how my nephews know me) and I find myself explaining the whole etymology of the name to a stranger. Sort of like this.

Ironically, the first time my eldest nephew heard someone say, “Alison” while I was home, he looked around in confusion and said, “Who?” then completely cracked up when I responded. It was the best joke he’d ever heard. He couldn’t fathom that my real name was anything other than Wis.

Why am I telling you this? Because tonight I received a thank you note from my youngest nephew, with the best opening line ever:

Now I bet you’re wishing YOU had a cool nickname like Wis. Sorry, it’s taken. It’s mine. And you know…

I’ll be back.

BTW – can someone tell me why that Corgie puppy on the stationery is using a pillow like a yoga bolster?